Living a fulfilled life without God
I ran across this photo today while checking out the latest in social media.
I’ve run across this and things similar to it before and while I understand and appreciate the intent behind it, it’s just not an accurate depiction of the teachings of Christianity. Let’s look at the “sins” mentioned. Homosexuality, idolatry, and nonbelief. Two of these are explicitly mentioned in the Ten Commandments as a couple of “thou shalt nots”. These are all crimes worthy of death according to the faith. Jesus’s old man in the Old Testament (who was also him, by the way) commanded these deaths. Paul in the New Testament even mentions that homosexuality is a sin worthy of death. Let’s keep it real here: you can show love to these people all you want, but homosexuals, idolaters, and atheists will be burning in the eternal flames of hell if all goes as planned.
I just can’t give Jesus a free pass here. He is allegedly the creator of all things, including this terrible system that leaves 80% of the world to burn in hell since they don’t adhere to the Christian religion. I understand that Jesus allegedly said some nice things, but that just doesn’t excuse the fact that his teachings as represented by the gospels invented the idea of hell. As Christopher Hitchens once said,
Not until gentle Jesus, meek and mild, are you told if you don’t make the right propitiations you can depart into everlasting fire. One of the most wicked ideas ever preached and one that has ruined the lives and peace of mind of many, many children…preached to them by vicious, child-hating old men and women in the name of this ghasty cult.
I really tried to salvage Jesus through my departure from faith. I wanted to be able to walk away and say, “Well at least Jesus was a good teacher.” I just can’t say that though. Make him as nice as you want in your internet memes, but you can’t erase his words from the gospels. He was very clear about people that didn’t follow him. You can pretend that he was an all-loving hippy that just welcomed everyone with open arms, but this is cherry-picking the faith… keeping the nice things he said and pretending that he didn’t say the other stuff.
Jesus did allegedly instruct his followers to love others after his New Testament makeover. I suppose the exception would be that part where he says one can’t be his disciple if one does not ” hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life.” There’s that. But he was a peacemaker, unless you count the time that he explicitly said that he “didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword.” Alright, so his loving others and peacemaking teachings are in question, but at least he welcomes everyone with open arms… unless you remember that he threatens people who don’t follow him with a lake of fire.
I’m happy to allow everyone to have whatever faith they want, but can we at least adhere to the commandment about not lying. Let’s agree to be honest about what religion teaches from now on and resist the urge to create internet memes that misrepresents those teachings. Deal?